Forum > General discussion > What the hell is going on in Portland?
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"What the hell is going on in Portland?", 20th Jul 2020, 9:50 PM #1
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Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/): a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

Updated 7/26: More federal officers deploying to Portland as protests gain momentum

Updated 7/30, 2:30am: Oregon's governor announced a phased withdrawal of federal forces earlier today, but at this very moment, federal officers are doing their best to brutalize the remaining Portlanders who gathered in protest earlier this evening. The crowd was very laid-back and placid before the federal attack was launched; my sister, who was present at the time, reported that there was little to no intentional agitation of the fence around the courthouse, and no fireworks, unlike other nights. It was simply a large crowd of people, peacefully exercising their freedom of speech and right to assemble. And then, shortly before midnight, the feds rallied in a large, unannounced, unprovoked attack on the city, which is still ongoing at this time.

---original post---

So, my home sweet home is Portland, Oregon. And there's some really bad shit going on right now. Last night my sister's fiancé and I stared down a literal firing squad, armed with flash bangs, pepper balls and tear gas grenades, in a downtown neighborhood that I used to walk through every single day on my way home from work. My dad took me to First Thursday art walks around this area when I was a teenager. I've caught countless busses here. There's a nice park. This city is my god damn, mother fucking home.

I regret not joining the protests at the Justice Center sooner, but I didn't want to go alone and honestly, I was intimidated by the crowds. I could've tried harder. I regret that out of over 50 days of protests, I've only been to one march and one memorial gathering to honor the dead. But when we started seeing the videos of militarized soldiers assaulting, gassing, shoving people into unmarked vans without identifying themselves, and generally violating everybody's rights, my family realized that the Justice Center was where we needed to be. This time, I threw aside my fears of noisy angry crowds, and of covid, and joined the chanting, yelling protesters right in the graffitied heart of Portland.

Now that I've seen what I've seen, I don't think I can go back to being a passive observer.

This is, at its core, about systemic racism. Every awful failure of our society seems to have a root in the desire to oppress minority communities. In Portland itself, it's important for all of us to remember that as much as we're willing to throw ourselves in front of a rubber bullet in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, our city has been gentrifying black and indigenous people of color out of the community for decades. There's a lot of work to be done. It doesn't end with these protests. This is how we have to begin.

But right now, in Portland, the very concept of democracy is fighting for it's life. And if you live in a major American city with a lot of protest action, be ready - 'cause this fight is coming to you, whether you like it or not. Portland is merely the testing ground. We're trying, you guys - we're trying to end this here. But I can't promise that's going to happen. BORTAC is scary. If they keep using the tactics they're using right now, it's only a matter of time before they kill someone. They've already come pretty damn close.

I know this is being reported on, and a lot of big networks are sending in their own reporters. But FYI, if you want the real story, please tune into Oregon's local news sources. We have a lot of freelance reporters who are out there in the crowds, getting tear gassed and shot with pepper balls on the front lines. Here's just a few good places to start:

A comprehensive summary of everything that's happened thus far, by Alex Zielinski of the Portland Mercury

I've been following Tuck Woodstock on Twitter, and here's Tuck's post on other journalists to follow who also happen to be people of color

An article from Willamette Week about the Governor's response to the presence of feds in Portland, followed by an article about how Trump's apparent efforts to "quell the protests" have actually caused them to grow in size due to public anger.

I can't wait to get back to spending time talking/making/thinking about comics and art again. But this is important shit, y'all.

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20th Jul 2020, 10:34 PM #2
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Worth watching the entire thing. Officer Jackson has been guarding the Justice Center since the beginning of this whole ordeal.
Interviewer: So what was it like in that capacity in the first few weeks, when the fence was up around the Justice Center for that RT response?

Officer Jakhary Jackson: I'll say this: I got, I got to see folks that really do want change like the rest of us who've been impacted by racism, and then I got to see those people get faded out by people that have no idea what racism is all about. Never experienced racism, they don't know that the tactics that they are using are same tactics that were used against my people. And they don't even know, the history, they don't know what they're saying. It's coming from someone who graduated from PSU with a history degree, it's-it's-it's actually frightening-on how, you know, they say if you don't know your history, you repeat it and watching people do that to other people-just because of what they decide to do with their life.

Interviewer: What are some of those interactions that you're-

Officer Jakhary Jackson: So, a lot of times someone of color- Black, Hispanic, Asian- come up to the fence and directly want to talk to me. "Hey, what do you think about George Floyd? What do you think about what happened about this?" I go to the fence, someone white comes up to the fence, "F the police, don't talk to him."
That was the most bizarre thing because I could see it coming. I even had a young African-American girl tell me, "Why is it you guys aren't talking to us?" I said, "Honestly, this is now the 20, I think 20th day of doing it-every time I try to have a conversation with someone that looks like me, someone white comes up and blocks them and tells them not to talk." And right when I said that, this white girl popped right in front of her, she said, "He just said that was gonna happen!" I said, "I told you, I told you!" She can't-she looked at the girl and "Why did you do that?" And I- straight up-I said, "You know I've been called the N word, she's been called the N word, why are you talking to me this way? Why do you feel that she can't speak for herself to me? Why is it that you feel you need to speak for her when we're having a conversation?" And she couldn't answer my question. All she said was "Someone told me to do it."


Full interview with Portland's Police Chief Chuck Lovell as well as Officer Jakhary Jackson
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20th Jul 2020, 10:36 PM #3
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Fucking hell. Is this legal?? Doesn't the state government have to agree to this?? I'm genuinely confused, because the definitely not secret fucking police BORTAC are coming to Detroit in the following days, and I know for a fact our governor wouldn't agree to that. I mean, not that anyone ever seems to give a shit about legality in the government, I just... fuck.

I'd tell you to stay safe, but unfortunately I can't do that, so stay as safe as you possibly can. Don't let them beat you down; I can't participate (I am in the middle of *checks map* bumfuck nowhere) but I have nothing but respect and support for you.
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20th Jul 2020, 10:40 PM #4
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Nyomi:Fucking hell. Is this legal?? Doesn't the state government have to agree to this?? I'm genuinely confused, because the definitely not secret fucking police BORTAC are coming to Detroit in the following days, and I know for a fact our governor wouldn't agree to that. I mean, not that anyone ever seems to give a shit about legality in the government, I just... fuck.


Federal jurisdiction. Completely legal.
Your state governor and state government has little to no power when you mess with federal buildings and federal officers.

This is why people shouldn't attack federal courthouses or US marshals with hammers, and why you should learn more about what is and isn't federal, state or county jurisdiction.

edit: we can get into specifics and technicalities, but the reality of it is, the federal government recognizes attacks on federal property as domestic terrorism.

If I were you, I would not be within a 500-feet radius of that court house (unless you live there) unless you want to risk federal charges. It's much more difficult to have federal charges dropped or dismissed.

Good luck, be safe. You know what you're getting into.
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20th Jul 2020, 11:06 PM #5
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Nyomi:Fucking hell. Is this legal?? Doesn't the state government have to agree to this?? I'm genuinely confused, because the definitely not secret fucking police BORTAC are coming to Detroit in the following days, and I know for a fact our governor wouldn't agree to that. I mean, not that anyone ever seems to give a shit about legality in the government, I just... fuck.

I'd tell you to stay safe, but unfortunately I can't do that, so stay as safe as you possibly can. Don't let them beat you down; I can't participate (I am in the middle of *checks map* bumfuck nowhere) but I have nothing but respect and support for you.


The city and state government have requested their removal (having never requested their presence), and the Oregon Attorney General has filed a lawsuit seeking a court order. Members of the US House of Representatives are demanding both investigations into specific acts, and a general explanation of what legal authority this is being done under. But doing things the lawful way takes time, whereas deploying a bunch of armed thugs with no oversight is fast.

There is speculation that the governor may activate the National Guard and use them to detain BORTAC, arrest them for unlawful imprisonment and kidnapping. I don't think that will happen - that's basically a declaration of civil war. I think, most likely, the courts will fast-track a "holy fuck no you can't create a gestapo and then send them against fucking graffiti vandals, stop this right now" order, and then the feds back down.

My hope, at this point, is that Trump is exactly as cowardly as he's always been, and falls back at the first sign of serious opposition. This is a transparent electoral ploy - he wants to be the Law and Order candidate, the Great Orange Hope to save us from those barbaric rioters who hate America and apple pie. But he failed to convince most people that BLM protests were unlawful when they first started, and now he's sparked even stronger backlash with this brute approach. Turns out most Americans hate the very concept of a secret police.

I have never been more convinced to vote in the next election. But I have also never been more afraid that voting won't actually matter.
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20th Jul 2020, 11:10 PM #6
It’s disgusting, precursor to a police state. Same justification for the militarization as a century ago , framing a majority of people pushing for needed progress as monsters destroying the foundation of a “great” nation. Well look where that narrative lead to. We need to stop this, I support your efforts and will be doing the same when the time comes.
20th Jul 2020, 11:13 PM #7
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here's step 1 in counterlegislation--
https://www.thenation.com/article/society/aoc-bill-federal-identification/tnamp/
(headline: A House Bill Would Require Feds to Identify Themselves)

stay safe out there.
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21st Jul 2020, 1:18 AM #8
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Feds are already identifying themselves- left shoulder.
Easy to see? Maybe not, but they've got patches that identify exactly who they are.

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21st Jul 2020, 1:34 AM #9
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Because we absolutely have no recent examples of federal agents covering their identification...

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21st Jul 2020, 1:56 AM #10
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The technicality here is if they're undercover agents or not undercover, and undercover federal agency officers aren't required to identify themselves if they have probable cause to arrest or detain you-especially if they suspect you of terrorism or domestic terrorism.

Doesn't mean it's right or being executed right or by policy.
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21st Jul 2020, 2:28 AM #11
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callmerocket:
I can't wait to get back to spending time talking/making/thinking about comics and art again. But this is important shit, y'all.


So comics and art aren't important? Seriously, your priorities should be comics and art more than ever right now, perhaps in a journalistic mode. Pen versus sword and all that.
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21st Jul 2020, 2:36 AM #12
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I hope your group manages to prevent this from escalating to other towns and cities. That's like a doomsday scenario, desuyo ne?
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21st Jul 2020, 3:13 AM #13
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Shekets:edit: we can get into specifics and technicalities, but the reality of it is, the federal government recognizes attacks on federal property as domestic terrorism.

If I were you, I would not be within a 500-feet radius of that court house (unless you live there) unless you want to risk federal charges. It's much more difficult to have federal charges dropped or dismissed.

Good luck, be safe. You know what you're getting into.


Hahaha, well, thanks for that last bit anyway. 500ft indeed; these assholes pursue us far beyond federal property, down parks and neighborhood streets.

But seriously, fuck these guys. They refused to verbally communicate with the people they were arresting, either to identify themselves or to communicate about the reasons for their arrest, and I feel like it's kind of missing the point to be like, "Well! They had a shoulder patch the whole time, guess this is okay." If there are any technicalities that make any of what's happening in my hometown okay, then those of us who are able to have to get into it. It's our duty to get into it. 'Cause this shit is wrong. Trust a bunch of Border Patrol agents to care more about a fucking fence than they do about humans! They don't have any qualms about locking children in cages, either.

Anyway, it's not like the local police force wasn't doing a great job of beating us up on their own. But we were making some progress with them. We have Jo Ann Hardesty challenging our dumbass mayor for control of the Portland Police Bureau, we got ACLU protections for our local press, and some restrictions were passed on the use of tear gas (which lead to more tear gas and "riots" that weren't riots, but still).

There's some thought to be provoked by those cop-perspective videos Shekets shared, but I'm less sympathetic to the statements these guys make as cops, about their cop problems. Like... take off your fucking riot gear already; if you're stretched so thin, stop wasting police resources on attacking civilians. I want to point out that excessive police violence at Portland demonstrations goes back years, in the name of a variety of causes. Regardless: The observations on racial interactions at protests that these guys have made - as black cops - are pretty humbling and valuable. Just goes to show that we have so much work to do, not only dismantling racism within our police force and our society, but within ourselves. Thankfully, from what I've seen in the past few days, the whole crowd has been following the lead of the BLM organizers. Are things perfect 100% of the time? Never. We fuck up a lot, and sometimes outright fail at being good allies. But in these big, loosely-organized crowds, it genuinely feels like people are trying. I hope our community grows from these experiences; becomes better. If white people weren't there right now, with all of our flaws, the protests would be a lot smaller, and Trump might actually succeed in doing what he's trying to do - quell the outcry by force.

It's a rough time right now, and there isn't a lot of good news to go around. But hey, at least we have a goddess on our side

@Robotwin.com Touché XD guess I was only thinking of my fictional stories, which I haven't been able to focus on so much lately. Will I journal about this later? Maybe! For now, consider this forum thread an Act of the Pen. I'm going to make my statement by creeping in after the antifa kids, to put a daring toe over the edge of the federal fence and then run away when they start launching gas cans at us

Worst seasoning ever I'm leaving tear gas a 1* review

Merged Doublepost:

Omg, can I just say - these protests have incredible rhythm? There's been fuckin' drum lines. It's not all feds and tear gas and lighting the Portland Police Association building on fire, hahaha. Check this out

A sign language interpreter turning "no justice, no peace" into a badass dance

As a child in child history class, I never understood why armies had drum lines but now I get it

Meet the Wall of Moms! I understand that this was organized by a Latina mom; she must've known what she was doing but by golly, it was something else. This is an example of how white folks can use their white privilege to defend the underprivileged. But they still got shot at and gassed; it just took longer.

The next day, they rallied.

I've spent most of my time at these protests just recording the chants, honestly. They're so jazzy. I'm wary of posting online but this stuff's all over Twitter already so I'm not sure; I've got some crazy footage of dystopian gas clouds and people screaming too
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21st Jul 2020, 4:54 AM #14
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I look on from Bend at what's going on in Portland in sheer horror. Legality of it be damned; if it is, it shouldn't be. I don't want to live in a police state. Alas ...
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21st Jul 2020, 5:00 AM #15
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interesting how we have infinite money for tear gas and "non-lethal" rubber bullets but no money to help people in any way whatsoever. the history of this country indicates massive amounts of resources for violence and oppression against those who would advocate for supporting anyone not already in the upper class. and of course, the laws don't apply to the oppressors until someone manages to hold them accountable.

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21st Jul 2020, 5:39 AM #16
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I can't freaking believe that people follow political satanic politians in this society being part of the left vs right it sucks I'm ready to get out of the city the cities are not for me and those infiltrators in Las Vegas took everything from my home and popularizing sports with the raiders coming to town can't wait to move out of my state I grew up dang what a bunch of stupid rioters ruined the cause and this is the generation of wussies and bootlickers from both sides I trust no one and this sickness is blown out of proportion cause of stupid tv's grow your tv's in the trash can you don't need tv's when you have pcs and smartphones!

You are free to hate me all you want I won't reply.
21st Jul 2020, 5:51 AM #17
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bmac85:I look on from Bend at what's going on in Portland in sheer horror. Legality of it be damned; if it is, it shouldn't be. I don't want to live in a police state. Alas ...


Don’t worry Bmac, the moms have you covered! “I will not live in a fascist state” is one of the chants :-D

Oh my god you guys, I’m out again right now and the turnout is HUGE. There are drums, people handing out water/ear plugs/eye wipes for later; just a massive crowd. The energy is so positive and good. Most of the crowd has gone on a march, but there’s still a large gathering keeping an eye on the feds. They have not made an appearance. Seen a couple cop cars coasting around, but this is a peaceful and positive demonstration. I’m texting everyone I know right now to express my amazement including the forum, hahaha

Good vibes everyone! My heart is warmed
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21st Jul 2020, 12:06 PM #18
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OHHHHHHH hohohoho we made them mad

So, for some background, for the past 52 days the protest crowd has been small but dedicated. Like 100 people on average, and the most hardcore "antifa" of them all are mostly young people in their late teens/early twenties. When the feds came in, they went hard on these guys - all the protestors had to do was hang out for long enough, or do something totally harmless like knock on a murder flap (yup; they've installed those creepy little flaps where you can poke a gun out and fire at people from inside), and soldiers would come flooding out the doors with gas. And then, the whole deal with the shady arrests. They're bullies; they become ruthless when the group is small.

But tonight, they were cowed by the maybe 2000 people that showed up and by midnight, nary a single officer, local nor federal, was to be seen.

So this is where things get a little controversial. It turns out that the plywood covers that were put over the windows... can be broken. There are a lot of different words that you could use to describe this simple act, and it all depends on what kind of story it is that you want to tell. But very simply, there were some solid pieces of plywood board, and then there weren't.

Tear gas, I remind you, is banned in international warfare by the Geneva Convention, but it's legal for crowd control. Link goes to an ACLU interview that explains why. But folks, there wasn't a single de-escalation tactic used before law enforcement came rolling out with every weapon in their arsenal. Not a single one. They had cameras everywhere and they didn't try to stop the kids. As soon as a few individuals gave them a reason, they attacked the entire gathering with maximum force, as if they were in the middle of fucking Syria or something. This is what it looks like.

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I'm sure there's plenty of police sympathizers who would say with great relish, "You deserved it." ...Did we, though? Did we really. Also, y'know what

How much tear gas should you use against civilians armed with trash barrel shields and leaky water bottles? Probably, eh... all of it. Haha jk tear gas is unlimited

Through all the gas, these people at Riot Ribs are just calmly turning racks of ribs in the barbecue, and there's a line. Feds are a little scary I guess, but y'know... ribs

Oh, and have you ever seen anybody be de-arrested? I hadn't either. Note at the end of the video how the fed rolling around on the ground pulls his actual sidearm

Portland's a real city under siege, all right. Kinda weird how it's like a war zone, but as soon as you get three blocks away it's just peaceful, beautiful Portland, but with weird bangs in the distance. The river was beautiful tonight.

Have a lovely day.

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21st Jul 2020, 9:32 PM #19
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Heh I've been trying to steer clear of political stuff. It's always complicated and people are always getting pissed off.


But I'd like to recommend this video. It seems like you guys have a bunch of dumb ass protesters ruining things for you guys with the violent acts some of them are doing.
Even in one of the examples you offered that seemed to be the case. If I may draw attention to a comment under the video you listed:


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Please stay safe. I think in this instance SHEKETS offered the sounded advice, steer clear of the danger. The funds have been reallocated, officers are resigning, and the message is being made clear and action is being taken.

Personally, I dont think you need to put yourself through that anymore and I know this will be a controversial opinion. If you feel you still must protest please be safe and try to avoid the larger crowds. I respect your resolve, but please remember a lot is at play. You shouldn't have to be getting tear gassed because dumbasses are attacking federal property.

But at the same time it is unfair if you would have to leave too. I feel for you and I wish you the best in overcoming this. And I'm sorry that that's all I can offer.
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21st Jul 2020, 10:09 PM #20
This movement is a tipping point. Empathy towards the protestors and their cause , in my opinion, is contingent on whether you believe (or care) about the deep, incentivized and permeating systematic issues in our police and justice system. When studies consistently show black men get 20% longer sentences for committing the same crime, you know something insidious is present. Change is coming and inevitable, how much this will spur progress is the real question, but sitting passively is not an option for me , personally.
Forum > General discussion > What the hell is going on in Portland?
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